Yet another damp volunteer Monday at Swanwick! Not that this in any way stopped us from working and in truth it was more of a dampness in the air than anything else. We were again working near the Centre taking down old fencing and replacing the old posts around the car park with smart new split chestnut post and rail. Unfortunately the old posts had been dug in very deep and often fixed with lumps of concrete making getting them out a considerable task.
As often happens we did come across a few bits of wildlife during our labours. One of the post holes had several tiny slow-worms in it, which had to be picked out and taken to safety, sadly one lost a tail but this one appeared healthy enough.
Slow-worms are protected and it is an offence to intentionally harm them, they are pretty common at Swanwick so we come across them quite a bit but they are always good to see. We also found a very fine and fierce-looking ground beetle.
Looking it up I am near enough certain it is Abax parallelepipedus, a real mouthful of a name if ever there was one. This seems the only likely species although the description says it is “entirely shining black” and I think the elytra look decidedly matt.
A second group of us were completing the removal of the old fence started last week, this also proved to be a deal more of a task than we had expected as the bottom foot or so was buried.
Eventually the battle was won.
There was little else to report, I heard a kingfisher once ro twice on the lake near the Centre but never saw it. Still tomorrow we are at Farlington so perhaps there will be more.